exploring Bournemouth: Velo Domestique

Did you know that me and my friends made a map of Bournemouth?

Of course you did. The Bournemouth Scene is pretty much all I talk about.

The Bournemouth Scene is one of my favourite things to do with my not-9-to-5-ing time. It means I get to explore the town that I live in and love.

We’re making an updated map (in APP form) which means I’m in full on RESEARCH mode.

On Monday I jumped on the bus and headed over to Southbourne to explore.

Just my luck I hopped onto The Gallery Bus.


Some of the Yellow buses in town are kitted out with sketches from local artists. If you’re fortunate enough to be on a fairly empty bus you can spend a bit of time (if it’s a long journey) moving seats to see as many of the sketches as you can.

Once in Southbourne I prepared myself to chat The Bournemouth Scene chat with the businesses there (so many hidden gems)… It turns out Monday is when most of Southbourne shuts! I don’t think it’s every Monday… just the one I decided to make a special effort to visit Southbourne on. Typical.

All was not lost. I had some reading I needed to do (which I had packed for a time such as this) so I settled myself down in Southbourne’s best bike-shop-come-cafe, Velo Domestique, and got on with that instead.


It definitely helps to have other work with you when what you planned to do doesn’t work out. It could have been a bit of a waste of a journey but it instead turned into a pleasantly productive afternoon!

It was an afternoon made even more pleasant by the fact that Robin (Velo’s in-house culinary genius) kept bringing me plates of delicious food.

Like this egg, salsa and avo delight:


And this grilled apricot, mascarpone and brioche slice of HEAVEN:dessert-bournemouth

And omg this hot chocolate:creamy-hot-chocolate

Just look at it.

You’ll be pleased to know all food is locally sourced so the calories don’t count. #bonus

Velo is a pretty special spot. They were open last year in a different venue as a 3 month pop up shop and things went so well that Dan (the brains behind Velo) now has a permanent space.

Here are some reasons you should go there:

  • You saw the pictures of the food right? Wow.
  • They know A LOT about bikes and have a rather extensive Bike Repair Menu.
  • You can enjoy some coffee while you wait for your bike to be serviced (and they do a really good job at servicing – I got my bike sorted with them last year).
  • They love freelancers and to prove it they have an £8 day rate for free wifi and unlimited drinks.
  • They host all sorts of events including: night rides, bike meet ups, hip hop socials, yoga, supper clubs and they’ve probably got a few more things up their sleeves!
  • Dan and Robin are bloody lovely hosts.


So next time you’re in Southbourne, make a point of going and saying hello.

They’re at:

176 – 180 Seaborne Road. BH5 2JB.

They’re open Monday – Saturday 8am – 6pm | Sunday 9am – 3pm | Closed Tuesday.

And yes, they’re going to be on the Bournemouth Scene Map!

It’s a no brainer really!



I’ve been making coffee

On my list of things to do I expressly said I wanted to find a part time job around people. For the past 4 years I’ve been in jobs where I’m sat behind a computer 10 hours a day and my interaction with people is mostly of the electronic kind.

So I’ve spent the last month helping out at my friends coffee shop (a gorgeous little place in Westbourne called The Living Room). I’ve been on my feet, running around, making coffees and serving the most delicious food Westbourne has to offer. I’ve loved every minute of it!

What was great fun was learning a new craft. These guys know how to make a pretty special coffee. It’s much more than an ‘insert cup and press the cappuccino button’… you have to grind the coffee, tamp it, time the shot, steam the milk (which is sooo much harder than it looks) and then make it look gorgeous. It takes some skill so naturally the competitive monster inside of me leapt at the chance to challenge the best!

The coffee testers!
The coffee testers!

Needless to say my first attempt was a little embarrassing… but seeing myself improve over the course of a month has been incredibly satisfying!

It's a duck on a waterfall.
It’s a duck on a waterfall.

Coffee aside, there is a lot to be said for working on your feet, around a hustle of bustle of people. I can see why lots of people I know, if you we’re to ask them what their dream job would be, would say that they would love to open a cafe. There seems to be this desire to create a home away from home, a place that people can relax and be fed and watered both physically and relationally. It is a dream that, I think, goes hand in hand with the desire to see community (whether of friends, family or strangers) happen in the places where we live. That and you get to drink loads of lovely coffee. What is there not to like?!

Slowly getting there!
Slowly getting there!

*One big cheesy thank you to Andy, Tansy, Chelsie, Phoebe and co at The Living Room for all the fun and coffee based shenanigans over the past month!*